Young CEO talks about that elevator pitch many of you anticipate
Technology bug has bitten. There is no doubt about that. We all want to relate to this day and time in one way or another. Maybe it is your gadget, that car you drive, office machinery or even household equipment. How techie it is seems to be the deal breaker. Businesses are also turning to tech, mama mboga is now using her social media accounts to sell fresh grocery and receive your order for the day.
This is why the word ‘startup’ won’t give us a break. With technology, lies opportunity and better business models. Young CEOs are all excited to let you know of their upcoming and already actualized ideas and this is why Kachwanya.com sorts to hear from Joshua Mutua CEO Kejahunt who is still learning the ropes one year later.
Through Joshua’s Eye…
If you run a business, you must have pitched that business severally. So, in order to deliver an excellent pitch, you prepare, practice in front of the mirror a lot until the words can roll off your tongue effortlessly. In most cases, you get to know in advance that you are going to pitch.
However, on several occasions, you have to make an “unplanned” pitch. Maybe, you meet someone of interest at a conference, at an airport, or in a lift between the second and seventh floor. And they can only spare you 120 seconds, or thereabout. You cannot afford to let that chance pass you by. You have to give them a clear rundown of your business, in the two minute elevator ride to the fourth floor. Hence, as we all know, the term elevator pitch.
This, normally happens when least expected. That is why you need to be always ready with your pitch. For any serious entrepreneur, any time is pitching time. I have pitched, got it wrong, pitched again, got it partly right, pitched some more, and made it good enough to impress. This business savviness that I currently possess, I credit, in large part, to several trainings I have received from Nailab where our business was incubated. It is also through the Nailab that I got a chance to pitch to H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, the President of Kenya.
It is every entrepreneur’s dream to pitch to a certain venture capitalist, be it you regular investor, or some former Apple top cat with some money to put into something edgy.
However, the thought of ever pitching to the President hardly crosses you mind. Never had occurred to me, until I got to know of the “National Innovation Conference” where President Uhuru Kenyatta would officiate.
…and, it happened, unexpectedly and impressively so. The busiest man in Kenya stopped by our booth and asked about KejaHunt. Keep in mind, he doesn’t walk by himself, no not at a technology and innovation event; every forward thinking business person and government functionary is always close by.
This is not for the shy, or faint hearted. If you want to know what intimidation can be, you need to be within an arms length from a President. If you get a chance to say something, you need to say something sensible. Apparently, I pulled it off. The President was impressed, so were some other travellers in this entrepreneurial journey who were present.
What I told President Uhuru Kenyatta KejaHunt Does?
As I noted earlier, KejaHunt is the business I pitched to the president. In a nutshell, what we do at KejaHunt is get you a house in Nairobi at a small fee. If you are looking for a house, you deposit with us a little sum of money, give us the specifics of the house you want; size, neighbourhood, cost and when you need it.
We then get you as many options as possible to choose from. If, for some reason, you are not satisfied with all our options, we refund the fee. We only charge for a complete transaction, and our measure for success is our client moving into a house we got them.
So, what made exactly made the pitch successful?
Engage: Some call it using a hook. This is a statement or question that piques the audience’s interest. It makes those listening want to hear more.
End Point: What is your goal? What do you want the person you are pitching to to understand? Do you want them to know about your organization, or to put some money into it. If it is the latter, you need to be clear about the amount of money you need, why you need it, what they are going to gain from the investment and in how long, and why you think they are the best people to invest in your business.
Brief: At most, you have two minutes. Two minutes is a lot of time for some people. So, you need to be as brief as humanly possible. Some elevator pitches take less than a minute.
Revenue Model/ Business Plan? How do you make/plan to make money?
Team: Say something about you and your team’s backgrounds. Mention the achievements and other strong points associated with your team. Most investors put their money into the people behind the business in most cases.
Energy: Passion or dedication. Do you light up when you speak about your business, or is it a ship you will abandon as soon as something of greater interest comes along.
Outcomes of a Successful Pitch
If you stick to this, and effortlessly execute your pitch, some benefits are likely to come your way. Successfully pitching to the President will probably get you coverage by top technology blogs. This is the kind of positive outcomes you are looking for, and you get it at no financial cost.
You are also likely to get a lot of traffic to your website. I mean, everybody would like to know what this thing that impressed the Head of State is all about. Finally, and equally important is an increase in the interest in your business. And, as we all know, that is what every entrepreneur is looking for.